Can I Sleep on My Side After Breast Reconstruction?

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons Serving Denver, Lone Tree, Colorado & Nationwide

Posted: August 11, 2020

Woman sleeping on side after breast reconstructionGetting enough sleep is an important part of recovering from breast reconstruction surgery. It is when you are asleep that your body works the hardest to repair muscles, tissues, and cells. But sleeping can also be tricky after surgery. You have to understand the right way to sleep to avoid discomfort and to protect your results.

Sleep Positions After Breast Surgery

Our board-certified plastic surgeons advise breast reconstruction patients to sleep on their backs for the first two weeks after surgery. Many women choose to sleep in a recliner during this time. A recliner will support your upper body and help you maintain the ideal sleeping position.

Sleeping on your side or stomach immediately after breast reconstruction is not permitted. These positions put unnecessary pressure on your healing breast tissue and incisions. If you had implant-based reconstruction, side and back sleeping during recovery may result in malposition.

You can begin to sleep on your side again two weeks after breast reconstruction surgery. However, stomach sleeping is still not permitted at the two-week mark. You must wait four weeks before you can sleep on your stomach. At this time, you are fine to sleep in any normal positions that you find comfortable.

Tips for Side and Stomach Sleepers

Most people do not sleep on their backs. As a side or stomach sleeper, you may be concerned that you will not be comfortable sleeping in a new position. We recommend placing pillows under your head and knees to help. You can also try to train yourself to sleep on your back before surgery so that it feels familiar.

Are you curious about sleeping with tissue expanders? We discussed that in a previous blog along with tips to help you feel more comfortable. For other post-operative and home care instructions, please review our dedicated page.

Questions? Schedule a Consultation in Lone Tree

Our breast reconstruction surgeons are available to answer any additional questions that you have. Call us today at 303-706-1100 to schedule your consultation. We proudly serve women from Denver, Lone Tree, and surrounding Colorado areas.